I was indulging in my most serious and addicting vice a few nights ago—reality TV. As “The Housewives of New Jersey” was blaring on my T.V while I was propped up on the couch, blanket covering my legs with my cat purring next to me. Yes—I was in my zone.
As a particular scene came on, it got me thinking. Before I tell you what I was thinking, let me set the scene up.
There are 5 women in their 40’s sitting in their vacation home sipping on their fancy drinks. Each of them start bragging about their kid doing this or that…”He won the wrestling match last night” one of the ladies screeched about her son. “My daughter had a cheer competition on Tuesday and did amazing” another housewife boasted while whipping out her cell phone to show the video of her kid doing the splits in the air. Next you see Jacqueline, another housewife, walk out of the room and into the bathroom where she has a small emotional breakdown.
You see, Jacqueline’s child is autistic. Jaqueline is upset and crying because she feels like everyone is talking about their kids’ accomplishments and how amazing they are while her young son, Nick who is 4, has a limited vocabulary and has milestones that most parents take for granted such as saying “I love you” or the ability to give eye contact.
So as I am sitting here in “my zone”, I started thinking about my good friend Jen who is in a similar situation as Jaqueline—minus the fancy drinks of course—we all know Jen prefers her vodka. So, here are some thoughts for my lifelong friend Jen…
I don’t pretend to know what you go through on a daily basis. I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent that has to advocate for their child’s education, therapy, diagnosis and quality of life in the same ways you do. It must be exhausting.
Tiresome and Worrisome.
But what I do know is that you are the best mom to Gracie. Like our many phone calls and long talks from past years, we both know God gave her to you and you to her because He knew that you would be a great match. Gracie has made you change your outlook on life and has made you a more patient, understanding person. “Everything happens for a reason” is well suited in this case. She made you a better version of you—and you are the best mom to her.
As your friend, I may not know the right thing to say or do when you vent your frustrations about how long the therapy appointments are taking or how Gracie told the principal to pretty much take a flying leap at 6th grade orientation (although we did get a good laugh from that one) but know that I support you and your endless mission to the do the very best for your beautiful, special daughter.
One more thing—when I tell you about my kids’ accomplishments in school or sports—I never want you to think that this is more important or has more significance than that of Gracie’s accomplishments—big or small. I want to hear that she brushed her hair for the first time by herself or that she reached another milestone. I really want to hear it. The good, the bad, and everything in between.
I promise I’ll listen with an open ear, mind and heart. Just know, I’m always rooting for you and of course, Gracie.